Before I give the recipe for the seitan, I'll interpret the meal for you. The brown-ness and general unintelligibility of this image disguise a truly outstanding meal. What you see here is:
1. The Seitan piccata with olives and [without] green beans, from Veganomicon;
2. The Lentils with pasta, rice, and buttery mint sauce from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone;
3. Mushrooms and spinach sauteed in sherry, salt, and pepper;
4. Some more of Bryanna's Bulgarian-style tofu yogurt.
Lentils, pasta, rice, buttery mint sauce, good Lord, need I say more? This is like mujadarah with...well, buttery mint sauce, just imagine! I've made it many times and no doubt you'll see it here many times more.
The piccata recipe was lovely. I still have some of the sauce left over.
Now, the seitan:
First, I did make the soymilk recipe I had imagined two days ago, namely:
2 cups soy beans
1 cup dates
2 tbsp oatmeal
…and it was really good. It didn't even need any flavouring except a pinch of salt. Unfortunately, it was also really thick, making straining a bit of a nightmare.
Enough so that I won't be making this exact recipe again. I'm still working on those straining tips and tricks. Anyway, after some healthy struggles with various sieves and filters, I ended up with about 1.5 cups of okara. With this, I developed the following recipe, based on my favourite chicken-style seitan recipe from the Real Food Daily Cookbook:
Zoa's chicken-style okara seitan
2 cups gluten flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup lightly roasted peeled almonds
1 1/2 cups okara, well squeezed (or cooked cannellini or navy beans)
1/3 cup tamari
2 cups water
Heat the 1 tbsp oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool.
Stir the gluten flour, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, and salt together in a large bowl to blend. (Be careful when adding the chickpea flour that it doesn't clump; I add it through a sieve).
In a food processor, very finely grind the almonds. Add the okara, tamari, the remaining 1/3 cup canola oil, the sautéed onion/garlic mixture, and 1 cup of the water, and process until smooth.
Stir the bean mixture and the remaining water into the dry ingredients until a very wet dough forms.
Divide the dough into four equal pieces, form each piece into a thick "sausage" shape, and roll up in aluminium foil. [See Julie Hasson's demonstration here for details of this process; she invented it.] Steam the sausages for an hour.
My descriptive skills are insufficient to the incredible taste of this seitan. It's not so much that I'm a genius as that the basic seitan sausage-type recipe is so very versatile you can do all sorts of things with it. I'll be testing this out further in the near future. Meanwhile, I couldn't stop eating it! Frankly, it was even better plain than in the piccata. So far, this is my favorite seitan ever. Clearly, I'm not celiac, but even so large quantities of gluten don't really agree with me, taste-wise or internally, so this recipe, which mixes it up with beans and nuts, is perfect. I like it better than the original—maybe you will too!
I must also say that rubbing off the bean skins gives such superior okara that I will be doing this for all time in the future...like everything else, you get better with practice, and, like so much else, I'm already pretty much used to it.